Tracey Emin to fund scholarship for refugee students; the Met makes images of 375,000 public domain artworks freely available online

Tracey Emin at the Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust, 2007; photograph: Piers Allardyce

Tracey Emin at the Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust, 2007; photograph: Piers Allardyce

  • British artist Tracey Emin is funding a scholarship for a refugee student at Bard College Berlin as part of the Program for International Education and Social Change. As Anny Shaw of The Art Newspaper reports, Emin is one of five donors – including the philanthropist Nina Baroness von Maltzahn and three anonymous benefactors – who have pledged €80,000 to help undergraduates complete a four-year course at the arts university. Three of the five scholarships are intended for students who have fled from Syria. Emin said: ‘If just one student makes it through that course and does something great with their life, for me it’s all been worth it. I love being an artist, I love my work and when I see the atrocities taking place in this world I realise how lucky I am.’
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has lifted the copyright restrictions on 375,000 images of works from its collection and made them freely available to the public via the website Creative Commons. Speaking at a press conference, the museum’s director Thomas P. Campbell heralded the ‘the largest and most diverse open-access museum collection in the world’, adding: ‘This new open-access initiative demonstrates our desire to adapt our practices’.
  • Laurel Ptak has been appointed executive director of Art in General. Ptak is the director and curator of the New York non-profit Triangle, and has previously held positions at the Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MoMA PS1, the Guggenheim Museum (both New York). When she assumes the position at the start of next week, Ptak will replace Anne Barlow, who has been with Art in General since 2007, and will soon become artistic director of Tate St Ives.
  • Following her arrest last month, former South Korean culture minister Cho Yoon-sun has been formally charged with abuse of power and coercion. Cho created a blacklist of around 10,000 artists, filmmakers, writers, and other cultural practitioners who, due to their on-going criticism of President Park Geun-hye, were to be overlooked for governmental support and placed under state surveillance.
  • Hans Haacke has been awarded the 2017 Roswitha Haftmann Prize, an annual award established in 2001 to recognize outstanding achievements in the visual arts. Throughout a career that spans near-50 years, Haacke has produced work for two editions of the Venice Biennale, and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Foundazione Antonio Ratti, Como; the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; Generali Foundation, Vienna; Portikus, Frankfurt; and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, amongst others. Haacke joins an esteemed list of Roswitha Haftmann Prize winners, which includes Walter De Maria, Jonas Mekas, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, and Rosemarie Trockel.

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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